Following a recent residential boom in the central city, and a renewed commitment to attracting companies to relocate to Orlando, and coupled with an impending UCF Downtown campus that will attract 7,700 students, the City of Orlando founded a a Nightclubs Task Force. That group has been meeting since April, 2016 to discuss enhancing Orlando’s downtown night life offerings.

The task force lineup features representatives from the Mayor’s office, the DDB/CRA, City Planning division, Code Enforcement, OFD, and the OPD:

  • David Arnott
  • David Barilla
  • Jason Burton
  • Kathy Devault
  • Deputy Chief Maddox
  • Mike Rhodes
  • Deputy Chief Smith

According to a recent report submitted to the City by the Nightclubs Task Force, they found that in order to protect and foster a healthy nighttime economy, the City will need to assure three things; Safety, Plan for People, Enhance Vibrancy.

Different representatives chaired each of the three pillars and came up with a list of actionable items to improve each:


Assure Safety:

  • Enhance the community policing downtown bike unit, by re-engaging the OFD bike medics, and continuing the OPD and OFD hosted training programs.
  • Dedicate a code enforcement officer to the CBD.
  • Encourage better communications between nighttime establishments.

Enhance Safety:

  • Explore legislative action to lessen state’s SRX requirements within certain zones to allow smaller storefronts to be restaurants with full liquor sales.
  • Inventory entertainment options and document economoic and employment value of the nighttime economy.
  • Build orlando’s nighttime economy brand by launching targeted marketing campaigns

Plan for People:

  • Enhance cleaning and maintenance resources to include street cleaning and garbage collection on high impact nights.
  • Assess need for additional tree trimming, landscape, and streetscape improvements for well-lit and easy to navigage sidewalks.
  • Plan for high-impact nights in Downtown like Amway and Camping World Stadium with increased traffic management, parking, police resources.
  • Create an “Ambassador Unit” to provide information to guests, identify special business needs, and to guide “most vulnerable population” toward resources.
  • Create transportation hubs at the end of each night like taxi/ride-share stands or pick-up and drop-off zones for patrons to get home.
  • Explore opportunities for mobile food vendors to locate to these areas rather than operating on the sidewalks. consider establishing mibile restrooms at those locations.

The report also called for the creation of a dedicated Night Manager position, “to act as the liaison to all nighttime economy businesses and coordinate City resource.” Other job duties would include:

  • Facilitate safe sustainable opportunities to socialize.
  • Retain and grow economic value of the social and nighttime economy while addressing nuisance activities, managing public safety risks, and alleviating quality of life impacts.
  • Help neighborhoods with both residents and commercial activity achieve peaceful and mutually beneficial coexistence.
  • Promote trust and collaboration and increase transparency.
  • Assist hospitality operators achieve consistent compliance through education programming.

Other cities that have created Night Manager positions include Delray Beach, Pittsburg, San Francisco, Amsterdam, Berlin, Dublin, Edmonton, London, Toronto, Vancouver.

Editor’s Note: Nothing from the study has been codified by City Hall at this time. The information was simply submitted back to the City in order for them to plan their next steps.

Brendan O'Connor

Editor in Chief of

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